Should More Schools Have Plan B Contraceptive Available From Vending Machines?

Pennsylvania’s Shippensburg University is making headlines across the country today after newspapers and TV stations picked up an AP story about the school offering Plan B emergency contraceptive (you can also call it levonorgestrel if you’re not into brand names) via a vending machine in the school’s health center.

According to the university, at least one female student a day hits up the machine for a $25 dose of the drug, which was installed after a request from the school’s Student Association.

“The vending machine is just a way to dispense it. It’s provided, it’s not necessarily promoted on a large scale,” explains the university vice president for student affairs to the Chambersburg Public Opinion. “(We got it) so that the people who wanted to use it can buy it… As long as the health fee didn’t subsidize it. No student fee money goes in to these.”

The school says that the $25 cost to the student is exactly what it pays to the provider of the drug and that all the money it takes in from the machine goes back to refilling it.

Other schools in Pennsylvania tell the Public Opinion that their students don’t have such ready access to Plan B. At Millersville University, students must first meet with a nurse to go over the instructions.

Vending machine at Shippensburg University dispenses emergency contraceptive [Chambersburg Public Opinion]

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  1. The Brad says:

    From a vending machine? No
    Easily accessible by talking to a teacher/counselor/administrator? Yes.

    • The Brad says:

      Dammit, should have read the article. I assumed it was a high school.

      Anywho sure why not for college students. I wouldn’t place them in high traffic areas but near the local hospital/whatever medical facility that the school has.

      • RandomHookup says:

        Even if it were in a high school, the discussion should be with medical professionals, not teaching/admin staff.

    • runnershigh17 says:

      Why can’t an adult make an adult decision and take Plan B? As long as it is deemed safe for over the counter use I see no issue. Should students have to go to a counselor before they buy some Advil?

      • joako says:

        If they are in a public high school with a zero tolerance policy: yes. Otherwise they will be suspended, put in drug rehab and maybe sent to a school for problem kids.

    • DariusC says:

      This post is very fail. The administration has no business getting into people’s sex life. They have better things to do, like educate people. Rather than… y’know… regulate them?

    • Snip says:

      I don’t think you’re necessarily wrong though. These drugs are designed to nip a potential pregnancy in the bud. It can take hours after intercourse for sperm to reach the egg, and if there is no egg waiting, they can survive the environment of the uterus for days waiting for an egg to drop. This drug is designed to meet that situation. It shouldn’t be anyone’s business and it’s not the callous action some pro-lifer’s make it out to be. However, this drug is not designed to reverse an actual pregnancy where the egg has already implanted. But sooner or later some desperate girl is going to try it. One dose is probably not going to change anything, but multiple doses could be disastrous.

      • justhypatia says:

        Multiple doses will probably screw with your menstrual cycle, you could vomit, you might even experience “breast tenderness.”

        Honestly, hormonal birth control has got to be one of the safest drugs out there. Not only is it basically harmless even if you overdose; but there have been no proven ill effects on a pregnancy that has already occured. For most people (and fetuses) the Red Bull sold in the cafeteria is far more dangerous.

    • bluline says:

      I have no issues with it on a college campus where the potential purchasers are all over 18. I might have more of an issue with it if the vending machine was installed at a high school or middle school.

      This appears to be a private university, so as long as no laws are being broken, I think it’s perfectly okay.

      • captadam says:

        Shippensburg is a state school. Even so, this seems like a good idea to me.

      • Maltboy wanders aimlessly through the Uncanny Valley says:

        What’s to keep an underage kid from walking onto the campus and buying it?

        • crispyduck13 says:

          It’s in the clinic office. If anyone there sees a young kid coming in to buy it then they need to tell them to fuck off.

          • Cat says:

            If they were fucking off, they wouldn’t need to use the Plan B machine.

          • Jillia says:

            So if some 15 yr old happens to come in for it because she was resourceful enough to find it and is smart enough to know she needs it, then yea, it totally makes sense to just shoe her away instead of giving her the help she needs. /s

        • pop top says:

          THINK OF THE CHILDREN!

        • conquestofbread says:

          Honestly, if an underage kid is able to:
          a) Be responsible/informed enough to know that if they fail to use contraception (or the contraceptive device used fails), they can take measures to prevent an unwanted pregnancy
          b) Figure out where they can best obtain said measure to prevent unwanted pregnancy
          c). Put in the effort to get themselves there to purchase it

          Then good for them, they are responsible enough to have sex and made a smart decision that many adults don’t have the good sense to make.

          I can tell you that when I was underage and sexually active, I used condoms 100% of the time, and when one broke — I wasn’t even old enough to drive — I had the sense to get myself to planned parenthood and take the morning after pill the same afternoon.

          Underage =/= irresponsible, necessarily.

          • Maltboy wanders aimlessly through the Uncanny Valley says:

            I don’t have a problem with an underage kid having access to this, I’m just challenging the poster’s assumption that access is limited to adults.

      • LabGnome says:

        It seems to me a possibly pregnant under 18 year old would need this more than someone at or over 18 (as they are likely less prepared for dealing with pregnancy and possibly motherhood). I don’t understand why you would wish to restrict this to them.

    • longdvsn says:

      I like the vending machine in theory – because access is important…but it has potential for abuse:
      (a) what prevents some 14 year old girl from walking on to campus and using it (in my U’s health center, it’s pretty easy for anyone to walk in and around the building)
      (b) what prevents a young woman from taking more than one dose to try to force an abortion after conception (very dangerous to do with this medication)
      …do they have to swipe an ID? Even so, that doesn’t prevent these two possibilities.

      • LanMan04 says:

        (a) what prevents some 14 year old girl from walking on to campus and using it
        ————–
        What’s the problem with that? Lots and lots of 14-year-old have sex…

        • eyesack is the boss of the DEFAMATION ZONE says:

          You mean there isn’t a legion of teenagers who are holding off on having unprotected sex because they aren’t close enough to a vending machine that sells emergency contraceptives?

        • Theoncomingstorm says:

          Perhaps they should have high enough self esteem to not uncross their knees for every guy who says their pretty.

          • drizzt380 says:

            Thats right, slut-shaming. They just don’t have enough self-esteem!!!

            How can we raise their self-esteem? Lets call ‘em sluts!! I mean, we’ll say it nicer than that. Some euphemism about not un-crossing legs.

          • LanMan04 says:

            That ship has sailed. They’re sluts and will have lots of sex.

            So, you want to PUNISH them with a baby, is that what I’m hearing?

          • Kryndar says:

            You know if you had just changed that to self control… no even then it would be a horrible thing to say.

      • The Twilight Clone says:

        Are you one of those people who just isn’t happy unless you’re controlling the lives of others? Controlling what other people do? Especially in private?

      • RayanneGraff says:

        a) And what would be bad about a 14 year old girl having access to it? Do you WANT her to have a baby? Oh wait, lemme guess… having a baby would be an adequate punishment for daring to open her slutty little legs, right?

        b) All that taking multiple doses would do is make her feel very sick for a few days. And why should she HAVE to swipe her ID? Anonymity & convenience are the whole point of these machines.

    • LanMan04 says:

      Why? That’s just another barrier to keeping young women from something they need.

      There will be a non-zero number of girls who are too embarrassed to talk to ANYONE regarding getting emergency contraceptives, and they will end up pregnant.

      What problem are you trying to prevent by restricting access?

      • Megalomania says:

        well, jackass teenagers that think it’s funny to spike people’s drinks, for one. On a more related reason, however, I would say that talking to a counselor first would give them the chance to try and curb the behavior that lead to the student needing to buy the pill in the first place.

        • The Twilight Clone says:

          Stupidest thing I’ve read today.

          I’m gonna go out of my way to a vending machine and spend $25 on contraceptive pill to spike someone’s drink. You gotta be f**king kidding me. The remainder of your post is equally asinine.

          • Rachacha says:

            I can totally picture someone spiking a drink. Remember, we are dealing with kids 17 and younger. A teenage boy and girl have unprotected sex. Several weeks later the girl announces to the boy that she is pregnant. The boy is not happy about being a father and decides to spike the drink of his girl to force a miscarriage. What he does not know is that this is not an authorized use of the drug and it may not abort the fetus, but it may cause birth defects

            Talking to a counselor or health professional will help ensure that the drug is used properly and is not being used as an alternative to birth control pills, condoms, or other prevention mechanisms.

            • Rachacha says:

              I missed that this was at a University, so scratch my comments about the age, but the concern is still valid.

              • The Twilight Clone says:

                No it isn’t.

                You’re in slippery-slope territory. Anyone could spike anyone’s drink with anything. Next concern please.

              • rmorin says:

                No your concern is not warranted and is really, really, stupid.

                The boy is not happy about being a father and decides to spike the drink of his girl to force a miscarriage.
                Plan B does not work that way. If people are that stupid, they could do that with a number of other drugs.

                What he does not know is that this is not an authorized use of the drug and it may not abort the fetus, but it may cause birth defects.
                Please support, with facts, that it is teratogenic?

                Talking to a counselor or health professional will help ensure that the drug is used properly and is not being used as an alternative to birth control pills, condoms, or other prevention mechanisms.

                Women are not stupid, don’t assume them to be.

              • My lawyer made me change my screen name says:

                Absolutely 100% not valid. But you got me thinking… We should make it illegal to sell soda and candy in vending machines. What if someone bought a sugary snack and used it to spike someone’s drink who is diabetic? OMG. And soda is like only a dolla! Show ID and sign into a national database to buy ANYTHING. Then all crime will cease. U can thank me later.

            • Maltboy wanders aimlessly through the Uncanny Valley says:

              It’s only good up until about 5 days after intercourse. If this was RU486 or something similar, you might have a valid point.

        • Firethorn says:

          How many jackass students are willing to pay $25 to commit a felony and spike somebody’s drink with something that’s not even going to cause something funny?

          Even 1 shot isn’t going to cause a guy to grow boobs or something.

          Meanwhile I agree; if you stick a requirement for counseling, even if it’s just a minute, many girls will just hope they get lucky. They’ll come in for counseling when they’re ready.

        • msbask says:

          Have you ever been a sexually active teenage girl? What do you think the odds are that any of them want to talk to a counselor about their sex lives?

          Do teenage boys have to get counseling if they think they got an STD?

      • wickedpixel says:

        especially given that it’s perfectly legal for men to purchase as well.

      • smo0 says:

        No because condoms need to be encouraged to use.
        This might send the wrong message that pregnancy is the ONLY bad thing to come from sex.

        There are far worse.

        A fetus can be killed.
        A disease cannot.

        —- Sincerely, a PRO- choice female

        • Mauvaise says:

          You do realize that condom use doesn’t mean you won’t ever need Plan B?

          Condoms, when used perfectly (at let’s face it, not many do), have a contraception failure rate of up to 15%. Then there is also the times when the condom breaks, or comes off, or isn’t used properly.

          Having Plan B readily accessible (and it’s not something that requires a prescription to get off campus) does not mean condom use isn’t being encouraged.

          • smo0 says:

            IN an ideal world where teenagers had some semblance of responsibility – I just worry about the abuse.

            These are still chemicals in your body – some people cannot handle them well.

  2. Hi_Hello says:

    i thought you need a prescription for it.

    I”m good for it. The should also provide a vending machine with free condoms.

    • thomwithanh says:

      Not if you’re over 18

    • caradrake says:

      Not anymore. They are sold in the pharmacy, and you would need to ask at the counter for it, but they aren’t by prescription only. I like that, no worry about having to wait for your doctor’s office to open, or for a pharmacy tech to take your prescription and rip it up without dispensing the meds due to their own moral beliefs.

      It may not be this way in all states, but I haven’t seen anything other than “over the counter” type Plan B packs.

  3. Cat says:

    Should More Schools Have Plan B Contraceptive Available From Vending Machines?

    Yes. And condoms, crack, and meth, along with a hookers-and-blow machine.

  4. Mr. Fix-It says: "Canadian Bacon is best bacon!" says:

    Man, how long does it take to plug 25 bucks worth of quarters into that thing?

    • CelticWhisper says:

      It probably has a magstripe reader for credit/debit cards. Makes more sense to pay via plastic for a $25.00 dose of Plan B than for a $0.75 bag of Cheetos. Oddly enough, I see people doing the latter all the time…

      • Mr. Fix-It says: "Canadian Bacon is best bacon!" says:

        You have magstripe vending machines in the US?

        The Interac system is EVERYWHERE in Canada, and we still can’t get those in widespread use! D:

        • shoes says:

          I don’t see them on typical vending machines, but when I was in college they were on all of them. They could charge the school debit card/lunch plan bucks.

        • whogots is "not computer knowledgeable" says:

          Not usually, but I’ve seen vending machines for IPods and ProActiv expensive skincare products. So it’s clear at least some machines have magstripe readers, because people would surely stab their own eyes out before trying to feed 79 wrinkly singles into a machine.

        • pegasi says:

          I service atms at all kinds of locations, including cafeterias at some businesses, and yes, they have vending machines that take your debit/credit card. They’re processed over the cell networks, just like the atms run the transactions wirelessly the same way. Airports also have them in some places.

      • scoosdad says:

        You can bet that a credit card whose bill is seen by Dad or Mom is NOT being used in that machine.

        Quarters rule.

      • Coleoptera Girl says:

        On my campus, we have mag stripes on out IDs that we can use to charge things to our bursar account. I think we have to pre-load the money, but this is a good possibility here.
        The mag stripe was initially intended for redeeming your meals (which are included when you live in the dorms or can be purchased each semester) and expanded to the vending machines.

  5. Rainicorn with baby bats says:

    It’s not fool proof, so while I think it’s kind of silly to be in a vending machine, let them have at it. The price adds up if used frequently. Also not everyone who uses it is irresponsible, and there is a degree of embarrassment involved when you have to ask someone for it, this eliminates that stress for some women.

    • Ben says:

      Yeah, it’s called emergency contraception for a reason! No one argues against emergency rooms in hospitals by saying they make people less safe and less responsible! It’s completely ridiculous for anyone who claims to want to prevent unwanted pregnancies to be against products like this.

      • dangerp says:

        Worst analogy of the year.

        • NeverLetMeDown says:

          Actually, a very good analogy. Nobody (well, practically nobody) would use Plan B as a plan A, at least not more than once. The side effects are like a really bad period (cramping, etc).

          Maybe here’s a better analogy. We want people to wear their seatbelts. We don’t, however, cover the dash of the car with razor sharp spikes to encourage them to do so.

        • crispyduck13 says:

          Quite the contrary, it’s excellent and I plan to use it the next time some jackass wants to lecture me about “responsibility.”

    • Doubting thomas says:

      don’t get me wrong. I am 100% in favor or easy access to any sort of contraception. That being said I have a huge problem with the “it takes the stress off of women” angle. If you are not mature enough to speak to another adult about your need for emergency contraception then you are too immature to be having sex.

      • pop top says:

        That’s fine and dandy to think about, but some people don’t feel comfortable talking about it, yet still have sex. They shouldn’t be punished for that though.

      • Raanne says:

        So, do we get rid of condom vending machines now also? When I was in college they had a bowl out with free condoms in the health building and you could just grab some if you want them.

      • kathygnome says:

        “If you are not mature enough to speak to another adult about your need for emergency contraception then you are too immature to be having sex.”

        I would disagree, but more importantly, how is that at all relevant to the discussion. The person has already had sex and either the condom broke or they weren’t using any form of birth control. It is, by definition, too late to be preaching to them that they should not be having sex because they already have.

      • aloria says:

        “That being said I have a huge problem with the “it takes the stress off of women” angle. If you are not mature enough to speak to another adult about your need for emergency contraception then you are too immature to be having sex.”

        Rape?

        • TeriLynn says:

          +1

          …or maybe not. For the record, I am NOT pro-rape.

          But considering the fact that I think I know a total of 4 women who have NOT been raped, I think this is very valid. Date rape is an issue, and it’s not worth the additional trauma of reporting and submitting to a rape kit and potential public scrutiny to report it. However, if Plan B had been around back then for ME, I know I would have had one less thing keeping me sleepless for months.

      • ExtraCelestial says:

        My mom always told me to factor this in when determining when I was ready. Either it was my mom or Ananda Lewis. Either way it was good advice

        Anyhoo I had to semi-argue with my gyno to put me on bc at 22 years old. It was my first time, yes, but I was not in any way more at risk than anyone else. She asked me a lot of unnecessary and probing questions and made me come in every three months for a check up for nearly two years (which of course was not covered by my insurance) before I finally wised up and found another doctor. All of that was to say, adults often have their own agendas when advising the young and impressionable.

      • aloria says:

        Additionally, I have gotten guff from pharmacists about *regular* birth control (due to their religious beliefs.) It sucks to have to deal with that sort of thing when you’re already stressed out about getting time-sensitive medication to thwart a potential unplanned pregnancy.

      • crispyduck13 says:

        “If you are not mature enough to speak to another adult about your need for emergency contraception then you are too immature to be having sex. “

        You’re also too immature to be having babies, yet both actions keep right on happening.

        *If this ends up double posting it’s Consumerist’s fault.

      • Ouze says:

        “don’t get me wrong. I am 100% in favor or easy access to any sort of contraception. That being said I have a huge problem with the “it takes the stress off of women” angle. If you are not mature enough to speak to another adult about your need for emergency contraception then you are too immature to be having sex”

        Yes, they should be pregnant instead. That’ll teach them.

        • LanMan04 says:

          DING! Give the man a cigar!

          I love all this “then they shouldn’t be having sex” crap. Guess what? THEY ARE. So, now that we’re grounded in reality, what are we going to do about preventing unwanted pregnancies?

          • katarzyna says:

            I find it hilarious that adults can’t keep it in their pants, but expect teenagers with raging hormones to be celibate.

  6. Ben says:

    This is a no-brainer. Of course they should!

  7. ExtraCelestial says:

    I’m a bleeding heart liberal, but something about this just seems wrong to me. I think it is important to make contraceptives easily available to everyone, but I think putting this particular med in a vending machine like this gives off the impression that it’s on the same level as a birth control pill. It’s not a condom. It’s an emergency, last resort, “I fucked up” contraceptive. It should not be used regularly and really you probably shouldn’t need to use it more than once in your lifetime. If you are, you are doing something wrong and creating new health risks.

    • dreamking says:

      Contraception is contraception. It’s not ‘a little bit abortion-y’. It’s straight up contraception. Why should you draw a distinction between birth control pills and these? Is it just a familiarity issue?

      What I want to know is if you can use your Health Savings Account for it.

    • crispyduck13 says:

      This absolutely does NOT put it on the same level as the birth control pill, since you need a prescription for the birth control pill. The vending machine is located in the school’s health center and is not accessible when the center is closed at night/on weekends.

      It’s cheaper than the local pharmacy is charging because the school is selling it at cost. It is easier to access in a hurry without having to make an appointment to see the nurse like at other schools. This product loses effectiveness by the hour, speed is critical!

      • ExtraCelestial says:

        I think it’s great that responsible young people will be able to have access to this for all of the points that you mentioned above. However, it concerns me that the less than responsible ones will have access to it as well. I haven’t seen any studies done on the misuse of Plan B so this could be a concern that is unwarranted.

        My comparison with birth control was just to say that someone that sees it so easily available may think it is ok to use regularly. Plan B contains the same components as birth control, but doesn’t need the prescription simply because it is intended to be a one time thing. A flush of hormones on a regular basis (at a much higher dose than birth control) would be disastrous.

        • crispyduck13 says:

          A student can go to any store and buy as much Tylenol as they want and ingest them irresponsibly, leading to kidney failure, etc. Tylenol is everywhere (including TV commercials) so obviously it’s ok to use “regularly.” You can’t stop all stupid, or plan for people to not read the instructions.

          The package specifically states that you shouldn’t use it more than x times in x period, and that you shouldn’t use it as regular birth control. Beyond that what are you expecting them to do?

        • aloria says:

          I would rather have irresponsible students taking Plan B than nothing at all. However, it’s expensive enough (~$25 a shot) that I’d imagine it’s unlikely for all but the most well-off student to try using it as a primary means of birth control.

        • exconsumer says:

          Is there some subset of American culture that trains people to think that an unplanned pregnancy is totally awesome, and not a thing to really worry about, and just go ahead and take plan B or have an abortion as often as you want? Have you ever actually met someone like that? Because I have not. In every instance wherein I knew of the scare, it was something they took seriously, and something they gave an enormous amount of thought. And I’m beginning to believe that this mass of people using plan B or abortion casually is maybe a figment of our imaginations; cooked up by those who oppose any and all birth control.

          Out of all the people you know personally who have taken Plan B, how many would you have taken it away from if you could? I bet that number is probably zero; mine is also zero. I have a suspicion that everyone’s number would be zero. Let’s make policy based on the world we live in, and not based on the ultra-libertine phantoms of irresponsibility.

          • ExtraCelestial says:

            “Is there some subset of American culture that trains people to think that an unplanned pregnancy is totally awesome, and not a thing to really worry about, and just go ahead and take plan B or have an abortion as often as you want?”

            I would hope not, but I do the stories regarding Four Loko and bath salts makes me question a lot

            “And I’m beginning to believe that this mass of people using plan B or abortion casually is maybe a figment of our imaginations; cooked up by those who oppose any and all birth control”

            That is an excellent point…

        • rmorin says:

          However, it concerns me that the less than responsible ones will have access to it as well.

          You’re completely right, women are completely stupid and need our help. There is no way ADULT WOMEN can possibly understand and make appropriate choices about their healthcare.

    • LanMan04 says:

      It should not be used regularly and really you probably shouldn’t need to use it more than once in your lifetime. If you are, you are doing something wrong and creating new health risks.
      ————-
      Is any of that worse than getting pregnant at 18 or 19 with some guy you met at a party?

      • ExtraCelestial says:

        Well… you could die? You could never be able to have kids? You could cause heart and liver damage or blood clots? You could do some other permanent damage, not all of which is known since the drug has not been around long enough to adequately study the effects of long term overdose? I assume these things are worse?

        • drizzt380 says:

          And pregnancies have no possibly fatal complications!!!

          So continual use of this could be life threatening.

          But not using it could also be life threatening.

          I think they canceled out.

        • Cor Aquilonis says:

          I’ll see your death, sterility, heart and liver damage, blood clots, and speculative long term side effects; and I’ll raise you this gigantic list of pregnancy side effects: http://www.thelizlibrary.org/liz/004.htm

          I trust you will fold.

    • Cor Aquilonis says:

      Hah! If you think Plan B is bad, check out the side effects of pregnancy some time.

      I will never bear a child.

    • TeriLynn says:

      I’ve been raped twice. Is that my fault?
      I’ve been forced into a position where my body is not my own to make decisions about. I don’t feel like I should need to even DISCUSS it with anyone if I decide I’d like to prevent myself from having to give over my body to a rapist’s child for 9 months as well.

  8. dush says:

    I guess it’s legal for a minor to purchase this drug with no checks like Advil.

    • Cat says:

      I don’t know many college students under 18.

      • ExtraCelestial says:

        I was 16 and 17 freshman year. Late birthday and skipped a grade. It happens

        17 in college probably occurs pretty frequently, but they don’t need a script. It’s under 17 that does

        • Cat says:

          I figure that if you’re 16 and in college, you’re probably smart enough that you know how to avoid getting into a situation where you’d need this. (other than the obvious rape / date rape situations)

    • RandomHookup says:

      I didn’t RTFA, but it’s possible that they require a student’s ID/purchasing card to buy the item (since they sell it at cost). Those could be coded with student’s age to prevent underage purchases.

      • caradrake says:

        How many people on a college campus would be underage though?

        • RandomHookup says:

          Not many would be 16, unless the school has a lot of high school cross enrollment. Someone in the comments below mentioned he/she was 16 at the start of college. But, depending on the machine’s access & location, the school would probably want to be sure that HS kids weren’t coming onto campus to get the pills underage.

        • jeb says:

          In Minnesota, possibly quite a few. I was a full-time college student at 16 (through PSEO in lieu of taking high school courses.)

          Not sure how many other states have that, though.

          • RandomHookup says:

            According to a separate article I read, everyone enrolled is at least 17 and the machine is in a secure area that requires the student to check in first. If they did have students 16 or younger, they could screen them at the check-in if necessary.

  9. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    Wait… MORE school?

    Any person should be able to go to a hospital, or even a pharmacy. Not too sure about the school itself.

    • InsertPithyNicknameHere says:

      Well, it is at the Health Center, so this isn’t siginificantly different from going to a doctor’s office and getting such medication from there.

  10. Shampoo Lies says:

    How is this not the lead story on fox right now in 128 point font.

  11. Hoss says:

    “According to the university, at least one female student a day hits up the machine for a $25 dose of the drug”

    Man, that girl needs to study more and party less

  12. crispyduck13 says:

    For PA, this is surprising. However, I think it’s great. It’s also good that the school is offering it at cost.

  13. Tim says:

    I’m all for it, but does it follow the federal regulation? In a pharmacy, it must be kept behind the counter and you must ask the pharmacist for it. Is this close enough?

  14. pop top says:

    This is a great idea and I wholeheartedly support it.

  15. weave says:

    Anyone who wants to reduce the number of abortions performed in this country should be all for this thing.

    • pop top says:

      Shh. Don’t make sense.

    • cornstalker says:

      That’s what they said about condoms. At some point somebody’s going to have to admit that the whole sex education experiment isn’t working out the way it was supposed to.

      • crashfrog says:

        Yeah, and it worked then, too.

      • pop top says:

        Are you saying that the availability of condoms should be restricted because there are still abortions in this country?

      • crispyduck13 says:

        Sexual education “experiment”? I’ll bet you think babies float down on fluffy pink clouds too.

      • LanMan04 says:

        Considering abortions numbers and the number of teen pregnancies are at their lowest levels in decades, I’d say it’s working.

        Also, it helps to not actively call it bullshit…
        http://vitals.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/02/06/10334156-sex-ed-less-effective-in-red-states-study-says

      • pegasi says:

        abstenance as sex ed doesn’t work. Catholics would like to insist that’s the only way, but the reality is that youth will experiment, so logic and common sense dictates that they should be taught that this is simply biology, and this is how you NOT have kids if you decide you must experiment.

        It is up to PARENTS to teach MORALS and ETHICS, schools should be able to teach the BIOLOGY of how babies happen, and the LOGISTICS of how to KEEP them from happening, whether or not that knowledge is ever put into practice. Let them at least be EDUCATED on the topic – so that they can adequately inform each other, as youth will ask other youth before asking their parents on sensitive subjects.

        The BEST pregnancy prevention is to be EDUCATED. The next best prevention is for men to learn to LISTEN when a woman says NO the first time. There’s a lack of teaching for men, in how to be MEN, in that they don’t have to use their “joystick” to be a real man. A real man listens to the woman he is interested in when she says no. She could say yes another time. HE has to learn to wait, or scratch his “itch” in another manner.

  16. cornstalker says:

    When did people stop calling this the “morning after pill?” There must be a politically correct mailing list that tells people what they’re supposed to call things.

    • InsertPithyNicknameHere says:

      Oh, did you not get the memo from The Society for Inoffensive Discussion Of Touchy Subjects? You really should make sure they have you on their mailing list. Wouldn’t want to make any faux pas, after all.

      • InsertPithyNicknameHere says:

        Wow, and now we’ve proven Pithy can’t spell… Society for the Inoffensive Discourse of Inherently Offensive Topics and Subjects. I fail at making acronyms, my apologies.

    • crispyduck13 says:

      Since a pharmecutical company chose to name their formula.

    • RandomHookup says:

      “Plan B” is a brand name. I guess “morning after pill” didn’t test very well.

    • Tim says:

      Actually, it’s more a “correct” mailing list. You don’t have to take it the “morning after;” it still works if you wait another few days. Also, it’s sometimes administered in two doses, so “pill” is wrong.

      The best all-encompassing term for it is “emergency contraceptive.”

  17. crispyduck13 says:

    “If you are not mature enough to speak to another adult about your need for emergency contraception then you are too immature to be having sex. “

    You are also, presumably, too immature to be having babies.

  18. momtimestwo says:

    I live in a district where they have a daycare in the high school so students can attend classes. I’m all for Plan B, birth control pills and any other type of contraception that will prevent yet another child having a child. And they shouldn’t need a parents permission, or the state or anyone’s permission. Allow high school and college kids free 5 year birth control IUD who ask for it, or suggest it for those who are looking for Plan B or whatever. These kids are not going to stop having sex, or being responsible, and the end result is always yet another child (or 7) who will probably keep the cycle going.

    • The Twilight Clone says:

      The kids won’t stop having sex? When did that happen? Someone should notify the Catholic Church.

  19. aleck says:

    I think they should put a bar stand next to it and a keg. I bet you anything there will be a guy sitting there all the time, waiting for a girl to buy the package. Then he would say “hey, this sucks, wanna drink, I am buying…”

  20. Not Given says:

    We have 2 pharmacies in town. Both are closed from noon Saturday to Monday morning. One refuses to dispense it, the other refuses to keep it in stock. If you have your contraceptive failure or whatever on Friday evening, you might have to go in or call on Saturday morning to order it and not get it until Monday. That is pushing the envelope for effectiveness.
    I’m glad I’m too old for this shit.

  21. dulcinea47 says:

    Do they have vending machines with condoms and other types of “plan A” contraception? B/c I think you’re supposed to start with plan A… B comes after A.

  22. imasqre says:

    Absolutely not.

    I have used Plab B on more than one occasion but do not think it should be a for of birth control whos importance is reduced to the ease of a bag of chips.

    Plan B is just that: a second plan. It not only puts your hormones out of wack for a couple of weeks (raging b*tch can be a side effect) it can be seen as an easy fix to pregnancy but not to STDs. A middle-school video (probably banned now lol) was shown about genital warts and I swear from that day on, physically lol, I was Amish (which is not a bad thing).

    Girls/everyone are ignorant to the fact of STDs sometimes bc all anyone worries about is preventing pregnancy. If preventing pregnancy from unproteted sex was so easy to deter with a vending machine, I can guarantee you the prevalance of all other STDs will go up drastically.

    Don’t get herpes. Wrap it up.

    • exconsumer says:

      I said as much in comments above, but it bears repeating:

      You used this after giving it a lot of thought and made no plans to use it often. What makes you think you’re some kind of exception to the rule? I’ve known a few people to use plan B, and none were hyper-libertines. I’m not so sure there are any. Let’s just make it available.

    • crispyduck13 says:

      After meandering my way through your horrendous grammar I’m still not sure what the hell you are trying to say. Did you miss the part in the article where it states that the same vending machine holds condoms and pregnancy tests?
      If someone is under the impression that Plan B protects against STDs then maybe they need to take a reading comprehension class as well, since it clarifies that topic right on the goddamn box.

    • RedOryx says:

      Right. Because…

      1) Not using a condom is the only reason a woman could ever need access to Plan B. I mean, of course it’s the woman’s fault if her rapist doesn’t “wrap it up”
      2) Condoms never break

  23. NumberSix says:

    Seems reasonable to me. Sure beats a teen pregnancy.

  24. thewatchdog says:

    I am torn on this one. As an alumnus of this school it makes me a little sad inside but I am not surprised at all. Also there was another local paper who reported that over 400 people got these pills from the health center last year, before the vending machine, so this is nothing new. Is it legal? Sure. It the right thing for a government-backed institution? Maybe. Is it the best thing for women? Who is to know. I would be more worried about some guy dragging his girl out of a party and down to the health center to make her get one, which I can totally see happening. But it’s a free country.

    • drizzt380 says:

      Are more options the best thing for women?

      thewatchdog says: Maybe.

      • thewatchdog says:

        I only say maybe because you are creating space in a government building to provide a convenient way to get a controversial product that many taxpayers or alumni may or may not agree with. In this case the student body voted for it so democracy rules. But maybe some right-wing alumni pull their donations to the school over it and you have to deal with that. Komen just ran into this exact problem and had to backtrack. Would it happen to a state-run school? Who knows. Choice for women is good but it might come with other consequences.

        There is also the option to plan ahead and get some pills before you head for the sheets. Or double-bag it. Or skip it altogether. But hey, we need to make every thing easier for people who make bad choices. /troll

        • crispyduck13 says:

          Well the school health center also presumably gives prescriptions for and sells normal daily birth control. They have created space for that. Should donors pull money from the school for this as well? This is a legal, safe product, if donors want to pull money because the school is offering it (at no profit I might add) then maybe the school is better off without that kind of support.

          • thewatchdog says:

            I think the difference is in presentation. Example: Kids in high school have sex ed and can probably get condoms from the school nurse if they ask. But is there a condom machine in the high school bathroom? I would think the parents and school board would balk at going that far. Sure college students are adults now but you still can be seen as encouraging a behavior because a college is a learning institution.

        • msbask says:

          It sounds like the school was already providing it, and just decided to simplify the process with the vending machine. What’s wrong with that?

        • drizzt380 says:

          Here’s a little bit of a difference between this and Komen.

          This: Providing more choices to help women more fully control their lives. Provided by an institution that is interested in education. Women having control over their lives helps with getting an education. Alumni who withhold donations because of this can go climb a tree.

          Komen: By removing funding that went directly to screenings for breast cancer(though given by a far-reaching organization that also provides other medical aid), they removed choice for underprivileged women that needed these screenings. One of their goals is to fight breast cancer through awareness and early detection. Removing this funding will result in making it more difficult non-zero number of underprivileged women to get cancer screenings. People giving donations should be rightly concerned about whether Komen is fully committed to aiding women in the fight against breast cancer.

          • thewatchdog says:

            Sure they are different situations in many ways but the outcome is still the same. People give money to a group, the group does something the majority of people don’t like, people stop giving money. It doesn’t really matter if the intentions are good or not. You say the donors shouldn’t care but crowds are not rational. So as a group you must decide if your actions are worth losing money and/or respect of your supporters.

            On a side note I think the Komen thing was more about money than helping women. How much of the money from all that pink-washed stuff at the store pays for breast exams, and how much goes to pay all the administrators and VP’s along the way.

    • crispyduck13 says:

      Yes it’s a free country, and any American woman who is being dragged anywhere or being forced to do anything against her will is free to call the police. That’s one of the things they’re there for.

  25. JF says:

    If my daughter needed it, I hope to god she would come talk to me. Or more importantly, when she becomes sexually active I hope she will already be using birth control. But, aside from that…. I just see mounting evidence everyday that make me more and more sure that I will home school my kids. Schools do very little for our kids. (I’m not even religious)

  26. NebraskaDan says:

    As a alumni of the great Ship U., I will say that if the students are anything like they were when I was there, then this is a very good thing.

    Put 11,000 kids in the middle of 40 miles of cornfields…well, you make your own entertainment.

  27. NebraskaDan says:

    As a alumni of the great Ship U., I will say that if the students are anything like they were when I was there, then this is a very good thing.

    Put 11,000 kids in the middle of 40 miles of cornfields…well, you make your own entertainment.

  28. karlmarx says:

    They should be as available as condoms.

  29. backinpgh says:

    Considering that Plan B is more effective the sooner you take it, and these “accidents” often happen during weekends/late at night when school clinics might not be open to administer the drugs otherwise, yes I think this is a good idea.

  30. BennieHannah says:

    I sent my daughter to college with a packet of Plan B (it was $35 at the time). I told her if she didn’t need it, she could be a hero for some couple who did. I was the first in our group to have children leave for college, and every one of my friends sent their sons and daughters away with a packet in their

    I’m frankly appalled by some of the misinformation downthread. ANYONE — MALE or female — age 18 or over can buy Plan B from a pharmacist. It’s best to call ahead because you never know when a store’s politics will require them to be consistently “out” of it.

    Plan B is not an abortifacient. It’s not RU486! It will not cause a miscarriage. Everyone needs to be informed of how it works before they comment: http://www.mckinley.illinois.edu/handouts/plan_b_contraception.html

    (I’m also continually amazed at how little information some people have about female anatomy and health education — like the fact that when Virginia recently added an ultrasound provision for women to access abortion, almost everyone on sites I visited had NO IDEA that that would involve stuffing a condom-wrapped ultrasound dildo up a woman’s vagina FOR NO REASON AT ALL.– Here’s your rape-by-dildo, as required by law. That will be $100! — Most people were commenting about how un-invasive was to require that an ultrasound glide be run over their bellies.)

  31. Hailey says:

    I’ll put this in words that almost anyone can understand:
    If you aren’t mature enough to be a parent then you sure as hell aren’t mature enough to have sex.

  32. Kuri says:

    Now for this to be made illegal by people who want to ban abortions while ignoring that contraception can lead to fewer abortions.

  33. rainyday says:

    News reports indicate that the vending machine also sells condoms and pregnancy tests.

    In response to the widespread news coverage, the university has issued a statement. It notes that all the students at the university are of legal age to buy Plan B. There is only one vending machine and it is located in the private treatment area of the health center. Only Shippensburg University students have access to the health center, and in order to reach the private treatment area they have to check in at the front desk with appropriate identification.

  34. Darkneuro says:

    If you read the articles on it, the vending machine has Plan B & condoms. It’s available in a private treatment area, and you have to sign in & prove you’re a student to get to the private treatment area. It’s not ‘publicly’ available, and it’s cash basis, not attached to the fee they charge for the rest of the healthcare, so the religious groups can’t complain about fees going towards it. Since it’s in a college, I think you can safely assume they know how to read the packaging, and there are nurses available in the health-care area if people need explanations of usage.
    I applaud the college. Readily available means readily available to them.

  35. akronharry says:

    They need this at all the Catholic universities!

  36. catgirl4276 says:

    This is good, but a condom machine would be better, as would a service where any female student who wanted the Pill or an IUD could just visit Student Health and be sprogproof until after getting her degree for a REASONABLE cost, as opposed to the current ‘market rates’ some schools are charging. I used to drive a station wagon full of fellow coeds up to the Planned Parenthood in the next state over to pick up our pill stashes (and mess with the protesters’ heads something chronic,) because Student Health only prescribed the latest and priciest Pills to be picked up at the CVS where the creepy fundie guy worked, plus few of us had any insurance. $55 vs. $10 for a month’s supply was no contest, even with the gas for a 90-mile round trip factored in.

  37. Fantoche_de_Chaussette says:

    America has the highest teen pregnancy rate in the First World, 10 times higher than sexually liberal Holland.

    The reason is our Puritanical shyness about giving kids straight talk about reproductive health, and our quasi-punitive attitude about access to birth control (i.e. if you’re being a “bad” girl, you “deserve” to get pregnant).

    Americans have no idea how completely messed up we are compared to the other advanced Western democracies. We are the Mississippi of the First World, dead last in most social indexes, but the “USA #1″ meme is so deeply ingrained in our society that we have no idea how far behind we’ve fallen.